Mary Beth Writes

My church has been working for months to organize their fund-raising auction that was supposed to be TONIGHT. But instead we are in the middle of the massive spring storm that is scrubbing the nation from Oklahoma to I don’t know where next. The wind is howling; rain is sleeting into snow over a glaze of ice.

So the auction is postponed until next Saturday evening. I have put in so many hours (as have many other) working towards this event in the past weeks - that being quietly at home not working on it makes me feel as if I won a lottery. 

So what do I know about mine or other peoples’ frugal choices lately?

1.  On the frugal websites I read, people are forever picking up change off the ground. Well, I walk outside ALL THE TIME and I have found exactly one dime in one year.  My neighbors apparently don’t drop cash.

Here’s what I have found in the past few months. Two pairs of men’s work gloves. I don’t pick up lone gloves, but if I see a pair on the ground, I will bring them home (gingerly), wash them, and prepare to sell them whereupon Len will say, “Oh, those are nice, Can I have them?”

And

The Mechanix are about $25 on-line and the canvas ones are $9. Although the ones I found, in factory driveways, driven over many times, are not exactly pristine.

I soak them in water and dishwasher soap overnight. Next day I wash with regular detergent and hang to dry.

3. http://frannyanddanny.blogspot.com/  I enjoy this website. Today she featured a super-frugal egg, cheese, and tomato sandwich. At 7AM I showed the photo of the sandwich to Len. Guess what he made for himself for breakfast?

4. What do you actually know about recyclable coffee cups? http://money.cnn.com/2016/07/21/news/starbucks-recyclable-cups/index.html

“A coffee cup is an environmental nightmare. Most are made from cardboard with a thin layer of plastic tightly attached to the cup. This keeps the drink warm and prevents the cardboard from becoming soggy. But it also makes the cup non-recyclable. It takes about 20 years for such a cup to decompose.”

Len bought a ceramic Starbucks mug years ago; he brings it when we are going far enough away that we might buy coffee on the road. If one brings in your own cup, most coffee shops will fill it and give you some cents off the total.

5. I WON at less clutter! We culled kid books; we still have a bunch but we cut the stash in half. I took the culled (nice, not stupid) books to the teacher of the3rd grade class in which I volunteer.

A few days later the teacher showed some of the books to the children and said they were from me.

Some kids hugged me!  In 40 years of donating stuff to Goodwill - I’ve never been hugged by anybody. This sounds super-cute and is; but there is also deep satisfaction in giving good books to good children and receiving back their affection.

If you have NICE & INTERESTING kid books just lying about, call your local grammar school to see if they are interested. Don’t dump junk at them; teachers are far too busy to deal with that.

If you want the hugs part, you might have to volunteer for a couple months first. If this doesn’t sound really fun to you, don’t do it. If it does sound fun, don’t miss it.

Comments

I KNOW you are an awesome volunteerer. I still remember Flat Stanley spending a week with you.

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Quarantine Diary #645 - Granola

Two recent tweets : Someone named Kate Harding tweeted; “What haunts me is that I am not just smart enough for so many people to be this much stupider than me.”

And from Di, Obstinate Hoper; “I’m starting to think of pandemic caution like labor: buckle down during peaks, relax a little between them. Hang in there, folks. It’s a damn long labor.”

Frugal? Road Trip to New Mexico

If our finances were stretched we wouldn’t have gone to New Mexico. We are doing fine despite the advice that says one ought to retire with a million dollars in the bank. Imagine that.

1. We and, at this point, about half the nation, have had our Covid vaccines so we felt safe and ready to see something new. However, we traveled to a place where they had worked WITH the effort to fight this pandemic. This limited our choices and is the #1 reason we didn’t go to the Badlands. How we spend $ is our power.

The Mindful Chickens are Wordy Today

Other people call them “frugal things I did lately”. I call them Mindful Chickens because they are about:

  • Being Cheap (cheap, cheep).
  • Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.
  • Paying attention to the constant tumble of dollars and choices.

This is my collection of wise choices and dastardly schemes from the last two months.

ONE: Our electric toothbrush/water pick would no longer hold a charge but a new one costs more than $100. Len took it to the battery store where they replaced it for $15.

Mindful Chickens - Plastic & Hunger 12/20/2020

I went for a walk on Wednesday and saw this mitten on a sidewalk. When I was at the same spot on Friday, it was still there, so I brought it home because it is a hand-knitted kid mitten, ya know? Any knitters out there interested in making it a mate, so that we could give it to a kid in my community or your? It's 7" from top to ribbed bottom. 

...

The point of “Mindful Chickens” is to spend less money while being mindful of the environment and our human values. We can try, right?

Holy Mackerel! Mindful Chickens 12/12/2020

Yamiche and Weijia licking out the mackerel bowl this morning.

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I said I would write “mindful things” we did this week. The agenda of “Mindful Chickens” is to spend less money plus be mindful of the environment and our other values at the same time. Sometimes, one of those purposes wins over the other, but we can think before we spend, right?

1. I cut my hair. This is not a particular skill of mine, but I can do it well enough to not look like the Pittsburgh Paint Dutch boy.

Who Let the Chickens Out?

Mindful Chickens i.e., being frugal and living by our values instead of by blithering consumerism is how this blog started. Yet I seldom post lists anymore about choices Len and I make that hit that marker because I can tell from who follows me that this is not why most of you are here.

But today I have a lot of things I want to accomplish. Preparing the Light Posts takes me a long time so I am not going to do one – I do plan to be back at it Monday.

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